Manmohan, Jiabao laud progress on settlement of boundary talks, agree to take it forward

January 14th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Ashok Dixit

Beijing, Jan.14 (ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao today announced that their respective governments remain firmly committed to resolving their outstanding differences, including the vexed boundary question, through peaceful negotiations.

In a joint statement issued at the end of restricted and delegation-level talks, the two leaders said that such differences would not be allowed to affect the positive developments in bilateral relations.

The agreement on political parameters and guiding principles concluded in April 2005 will continue to be the basis for arriving at a settlement. It was also agreed that the special representatives of the two countries would complete their task of drawing up a framework for settlement early.

The joint statement said: The two sides reiterated their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the Boundary Question, and to “build a Boundary for peace and friendship on the basis of the agreement on political parameters and the guiding principles for the settlement of the India-China Boundary Question concluded in April 2005.”

The two Prime Ministers’ said that the Special Representatives of the two countries have been asked to complete the task of arriving on an agreed framework for the settlement of dispute at an early date.

The agreement on taking the progress of the Boundary Question forward formed part of the Vision Statement for the 21st Century issued by the two leaders.

Special Representatives of India (M.K. Narayanan) and China (Dai Bingguo) met here informally today to review and assess the next steps to ensure a possible resolution of the vexed boundary question.

It maybe recalled that ahead of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s three-day visit to China, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon had said that there would not be a formal discussion on the boundary question, but an informal meeting between Narayanan and Bingguo would be initiated.

India and China have reiterated their willingness to find “a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution” to the “boundary question.”, which has been in dispute since the 1962 war between the two countries.

The two countries’ Special Representatives have so far had eleven meetings on the issue since 2003 both in China and in India.

The boundary dispute between India and China involve large areas along their 4,000-kilometre border.

India says China is occupying 43,180 sq km of Jammu and Kashmir, including 5,180 sq km ceded to Beijing by Islamabad under the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement of 1963. China, in turn, says India is in possession of some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.

Before the appointment of Special Representatives, eight rounds of border talks had already been held between 1981 and 1987 and an additional 14 Joint Working Group meetings between 1988 and 2003. (ANI)

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